Manchester United flop and Derby reject lead resurgent Rayo Vallecano

Rayo Vallecano Bar Scarf

Three points were earned by Rayo Vallecano away at Eibar in La Liga, thanks to goals from in-form Alberto Bueno and towering Angolan striker Manucho.

Considering the form of Spanish forward Alberto Bueno this season in La Liga, one can't help but think that perhaps Derby County missed a great opportunity to sign the player permanently, following a loan spell with the club in the Championship, during the 2010-11 season.

Nigel Clough, then manager of The Rams, was quoted by the BBC as suggesting signing Bueno was "not a priority" for his club, given the player had dipped in form during the second half of the campaign.

Things couldn't be better for Bueno at Rayo Vallecano this season though, which has lead to speculation Italian side Napoli are interested, whilst Premier League outfit Southampton have also been linked, according to The Mirror recently.

In Friday night's La Liga encounter at Ipurua against Eibar, the 27-year-old netted a crucial equaliser, after his side had fallen behind against their hosts. The 42nd minute strike from Bueno, his 16th in 28 league games this season, cancelled out the Eibar opener, scored from the penalty spot by Arruabarrena in the 35th minute.

Having hauled themselves back on level terms, Rayo Vallecano quickly then went one better, as the towering figure of Angolan striker, Manucho, rose highest to head what would prove to be the winning goal, in the 42nd minute.

Three priceless points for visiting Rayo Vallecano, sending them into the top half of La Liga, whilst consigning Eibar to their 11th straight game without victory and ever closer to the relegation zone.

Manchester United fans may recall Manucho as one of the stranger signings made by Sir Alex Ferguson. Brought in from Angolan side Petro Atletico early in 2008 on the recommendation of assistant, Carlos Queiroz, he was immediately shipped out on loan to Greek outfit, Panathinaikos.

Upon his return to Old Trafford, Manucho did little to impress at the start of the 2008 campaign, featuring as a substitute in just three games, before heading off on loan to Hull City.

Along with loan spells in Turkey, after several seasons with Real Valladolid, split between the Primera and Segunda, 32-year-old Manucho has carved out a solid niche for himself with Rayo Vallecano. Although rarely started by manager Paco Jemez, his role is mostly as an impact player from the bench, which has seen him feature in all 29 encounters this season in La Liga.

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